Robert Reich: Can Biden heal America if Trump and his allies don’t want it to be healed? | opinion…


If you missed the message: Joe Biden has been elected President of the United States. After almost all ballots have been counted, Biden has over 75 million votes, outnumbering about 71 million. The electoral college is not even close.

But Trump has still not given in, and some leading Republicans say he should not.

Senator Lindsey Graham warned on Sunday that Trump should not give in, because “unless the Republicans challenge and change the U.S. electoral system, there will never be another Republican president elected”.

In other words, despite zero evidence of electoral fraud, the GOP should attack the outcome of the election because a Democrat was elected president.

The nation was already divided when Trump became president. But Trump took advantage of our divisions to win and try to stay in power. He didn’t just pour salt into our wounds. He planted grenades in them.

And now he and his rulers seem ready to pull the pens.

Elections usually end with candidates who have lost congratulating the winner and graciously accepting defeat. In doing so, they demonstrate their commitment to the democratic system through the particular outcome they have fought for.

Apparently there will be no mercy from Trump and his allies and no concession from Trump.

They do not want America to heal. They do not want the Americans to come together. Obviously they would prefer continuous warfare because they believe it is the only way to win.

It is an almost treacherous act: to destroy public trust in the system in order to retain power.

Although the Americans have very different opinions about what we want from the government, we have agreed to abide by the outcome of our elections. This meta-agreement has demanded enough trust from us that we consider the views and interests of those with whom we disagree as worthy of consideration as our own.

But Trump and his allies have continually sacrificed that trust for partisan goals. And it looks like they will not stop until they have destroyed what trust is left.

Trump will be president for another three months. He is already calling for legal challenges and recounts, maneuvers that could prevent states from meeting the December 8 legal deadline for voters to vote.

If this continues, America could find itself in a similar situation to that of 1876, when allegations of electoral fraud forced a special election commission to determine the winner just two days before the inauguration.

I would not be surprised if Trump, Graham and Trump’s other Republican allies refused to attend Biden’s inauguration.

Perhaps Trump will hold a huge rally for himself instead, and Graham will introduce him as the “real” President. Trump sends fiery messages to his supporters, questioning Biden’s legitimacy as president and urging them to refuse to recognize his presidency.

This is followed by months of Trump rallies and tweets with even stranger accusations: Conspiracies against him and America by Biden, Nancy Pelosi, “anti-state” bureaucrats, “socialists,” immigrants, Muslims, or any of his other standard enemies.

It could go on like this for years. Trumpf thereby keeps the nation’s attention focused on himself, remains the center of controversy and dissension, and makes it harder for Biden to heal the nation.

Meanwhile, Graham and his ilk keep millions of Republican voters in a state of constant rage until the midterm elections in 2022 and the presidential election in 2024.

Now is the time for other Republican leaders to show real leadership and call on the nation to unite behind Biden.

Former President George W. Bush has made a start. At the same time that Graham Trump warned Trump not to give in, Bush called Biden to congratulate him, saying the race was “basically fair” and “his result is certain”. In a later statement Bush added: “I know that Joe Biden is a good man who has won the chance to lead and unite our country.

Hats off to Bush.

The media (including Twitter, Facebook and even Fox News) can also help. They have already started spreading Trump’s lies in real time and cancelling his press conferences, practices that should have started years ago. They should continue to mark his lies and those of his allies and ignore their baseless claims.

It would be a fitting end to a


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